Gig Line: Our deserving veterans

Published 10:23 pm Monday, March 4, 2024

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Before anything else … I wish to acknowledge a sweet friend and his incredibly special daughter. As many of you may know, Mr. Charles Lee Wescott, of Wanchese, received his wings Wednesday, February 21, 2024. Mr. Charles was not only a beloved local veteran, a loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather and waterman … Mr. Charles was 105 years old.

Though I had the honor of issuing our Dare County Veteran I.D. Card (now identified as the Veteran Discount Card) to him, I also had a first row seat in witnessing the respect, devotion and care shown to him by his daughter, Mary (Johnson) Wescott whom I had graduated Manteo High School with in 1968.

We all love our parents, but Mary’s absolute commitment to see to it that her daddy’s needs were met was at minimum impressive. Every time I saw them at a veteran related event and even at his 100th birthday celebration, he looked not only handsome, but downright spiffy. Always dressed nicely and accompanied by his devoted daughter Mary, Mr. Charles was blessed. If there was a medical appointment or with the V.A., Mary made sure he was there; when there was a veteran related play or other special event celebrating our military at Manteo First Assembly church or the Town of Manteo Christmas Parade or Mike Kelly’s St. Patrick Day Parade in Nags Head, she made sure that if he was able to attend, he did. Unless the weather would deter his presence, Mary made sure her Daddy was included.

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Over the years I saw the time she took to make sure his every need was met and that anything she could do to stand up for him regarding his veteran benefits, she was determined to see it through. God bless sweet Mr. Charles and Mary too. She was so proud of her father and his service to our nation, and I am so proud of them both! If you would like to read more about his initial military service which is a very worthy read and his incredible life overall, please search for his obituary. You can also access it on Facebook by searching “Mary Johnson Wescott.”

Over the last year we lost special people including veterans who we appreciate and salute. They stuck their neck out for us … they sacrificed precious time away from their spouse and children and sacrificed their life and limb … literally. God bless our veterans across our entire nation and the world.

Remembering someone who touches your life in a profound way is easy when you think about your parents, children, grandchildren and your husband (or wife, if you are a widow). When I watch romantic movies, I think of my husband Billy; when I hear one of our favorite song, I remember the exact setting at the time we sang them together holding hands over a period of almost 50 years. Dear sweet Lord, how I love and miss him.

Nothing is the same … nothing will ever be the same again and while I admire men and women who have lost their first love, true love or soul mate but went on to allow love back into their heart again and I am happy for them, I still feel so madly in love with my husband that I can’t fathom it … and doubt I ever will.

Love comes in all forms and is good – so, so good. There is nothing like it. You can’t buy it, manufacture it, duplicate or create it. Love is powerful and unending; love is too big to adequately describe. It is high enough to reach beyond the vast blue skies; an emotion that surpasses all others … loving and being loved makes us happy, inspired, motivated, comforted, secure and proud. Love is our greatest gift.

Like so many of you, I miss the one man that rocked my world in an incredible way; he made me laugh, he told me I looked pretty even with no makeup when, of course, I responded that he really needed glasses … in a hurry. I looked forward to each day just being in his company sharing his hopes and dreams; I felt sad over things that disappointed or hurt him. We were a team. He is and will always be unforgettable in the eyes of everyone who knew him, just like in the case of your true love.

If you typically attend the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Nags Head, it will be held again this year on Sunday, March 17 beginning at 1 p.m. Whether you are a veteran or not, please try to attend and if you do, clap, wave and show great enthusiasm for all the participants, but especially our veterans who are typically stationed in the front. Mike Kelly has brought lots of smiles to residents and visitors alike over the last 32 years, this year being his 33rd! WOW! Excellent job and thank you Mike (and Mary Ann Newman), we appreciate you and all the work it takes to organize this huge happy event!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned in Gig Line that several people had expressed interest in the benefit of initiating a group of widows/widowers who might enjoy fellowship going through the grieving process for their spouse who had passed. No one expressed further interest, so we will table the idea for now. Do not forget about Grief Share classes led by Peggy Snead though!

I have suggested that veterans consider contacting Patty O’Sullivan, Dare County veteran service officer, to determine if there is a possibility their medical issues are service connected. Patty can help you investigate the potential for a V.A. disability claim because of exposure to Agent Orange, etc. Also, if you need to acquire a duplicate DD-214 that may have been misplaced over the years, please contact her at her office: (252) 475-5604; her cell: (252) 473-7749 or by email: patricia.o’

Patty is devoted to all veterans and determining your eligibility is not only important to you as a veteran but to your spouse and/or family. Please think about contacting her to ascertain the potential – you deserve any benefit you are or may be entitled to.

Please, please make sure you are fully registered to vote in the upcoming elections. It is critical. It is crucial that you cast your vote of confidence in whichever candidate your faith is in. Invest your vote in the person whom you are confident in helping our country to fight the ills against us.

If you wish to acquire our free Dare County Veteran Discount Card, please call/text my cell: (252) 202-2058 or email me: and I will be happy to meet with you. What you are asked to present for review only is your DD-214 showing honorable discharge, your driver’s license (it doesn’t have to be an N.C. license, but you are required to either be a resident of Dare County or a property owner, so please bring a copy of a property tax bill, utility bill in your name or a residential lease agreement with you). It takes all of 10 minutes and the card will entitle you to discounts to over 100 retail, eateries and professional businesses from Corolla to Hatteras Village. Patty or I can issue the card to you with the verification I just described, so let us get together and save you some money!

Until next time be healthy, safe and happy. Love yourself and everybody around you; lift our troops who are deployed and in harms’ way as well as all subject to deployment and pray please for their safe return home. Our Lord loves you and so do I. God bless you all! Stay tuned!